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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Arkas KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 4
source NTSB
type A
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On March 31, 1982, the Liberian tank vessel Arkas was upbound in the Mississippi River carrying a cargo of crude oil, and passing the upbound M/V Creole Genii which was pushing three barges carrying No 6 oil, when the vessels collided near 35 Mile Point at mile 130 Above Head of Passes at 2118. The collision ruptured the Arkas's hull, and escaping crude oil was ignited. Because the Arkas's crew feared an explosion, they anchored the vessel along the east river bank, and then abandoned it. Damage was estimated to be $50,000 to the Creole Genii tow, $15 million to the Arkas, and more than $71,000 to the environment. No one was seriosuly injured.

The Creole Genii was pushing three tank barges in a line ahead. The raked bow barge Bobbie was in the lead followed by the Tina and the Girl. The tow including the towboat was 815 ft long and 50 feet wide. Each of the barges was loaded to about a 9 foot draft carrying a total of 50,000 barrels of oil, and the towboat's draft was about 9 feet 6 inches according to the operator.

[The NTSB goes on to recommend rounding off raked bow barge bows or providing bumpers. Both would require a major change in towboat operation since the squared off bows allow the raked bow barges to be incorporated within the tow.]


source arkas_ELAN8_7374096
type A
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In the evening of 1982-03-31, when steaming up the Mississippi River to her discharge port, the Arkas collided with the tug/barge composition Creole Genii. The collision occurred near LaPlace upriver from New Orleans. The tanker was hit on its port side in the cargo wing tank, just forward of the engine room. The crude oil flowing out of the gash, ignited and floated as a burning carpet down the river, causing serious damage to the engine room. The pilot Capt. Robert Karr managed to beach the vessel on a nearby sand bank, and the crew abandoned the ship. The Arkas was refloated on 1982-09-04 and towed to an anchorage.


source ETC
type D
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Mile 130, Montz, La.


source CTX
type C
volume
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dead 0
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The river is fairly narrow and twisty here with a sharp right hand bend. Sounds like the tow may have been sucked into the tanker, maybe because the tanker overtook too closely. But we dont know. There is an NTSB report, NTSB/Mar-83/04, NTIS PB 83-916404, but it is available only on microfilm, and CTX has not yet seen.

Some sources put the spill at 1.47 million gallons.

This is one of those rare collisions involving a big spill in which double sides probably would have made a big difference.

This ship, the ex Susanne Onstad, was sold to Ogden. Somehow they managed to get the repaired ship to US flag, she became the Ogden Columbia, then OMI Columbia, then Marine Columbia, not scrapped until 2004.